Air traffic is exhibiting the characteristics of large flow, strong coupling, and high time variation. To ensure its smooth, efficient, safe, and reliable operation, an intelligent model for air traffic management that features digitalization, automation, and collaboration needs to be developed. This study reviews the current and future demand for air traffic management and analyzes the challenges faced by traditional air traffic management from the aspects of traffic control, airspace management, and flow control. It also summarizes four basic scientific problems: interaction mechanism and mode between aircraft and air control infrastructure, air– ground coordinated control of aircraft intervals based on acceptable risks, airspace operation modeling and optimization considering multiple factors and based on non-uniform rules, and evolution mechanism and congestion propagation features of high-density air traffic flow. Moreover, it is suggested to integrate the application of satellite Internet, big data, digital twin, cloud computing, and other frontier technologies, and build an intelligent management technology system for air traffic from the aspects of aircraft, airspace, control decision-making, and operation, thereby laying a technical foundation for the construction of a next-eneration air traffic management system.